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What are Uber-Like 3PL’s?

Since 2009, the ride-sharing technology developed by Uber has revolutionized transportation in more ways than one. With a few smart adaptations, “uber-like” 3PL companies have turned the logistics world on its head by providing better service and functionality for shippers and truckers alike.

3pl's are being transformed by the so-called 'uberization' of the logistics and transportation industry

How uberization improves logistics for shippers and truck drivers

With giants like Amazon looking to enter the logistics market, uber-like 3PL companies are rushing to get truckers on their rolls. This means more and more features are being released that serve your needs as a trucker.

For example, uber-like 3PL systems allow truckers to get paid faster with “quick pay” programs. The 3PL fronts truckers the money rather than having truckers wait on the shipper to send a check. With their advanced mapping and tracking software, these new-and-improved 3PLs also keep truckers’ needs in mind by helping reduce deadhead.

Uber's matching technology is becoming an ideal for startups in the transportation industry.

Let’s look at some of the following features as examples of how uberization is helping revolutionize the logistics industry.

  • With uber-like 3PL software, truckers and shippers are able to access accurate, real time pricing.
  • Built-in API map integration allows more efficient route planning and up-to-date, driver-friendly GPS directions.
  • Backhaul planning is an integral part of the uberization of logistics. This software feature allows truckers to reduce deadhead as much as possible, so you can use your time driving and not searching for freight.
  • Track-and-trace shows real time positioning of loads, a big plus for shippers with a deadline.
  • Mobile transactions via quick pay programs can get truckers paid weeks earlier, sometimes even instantly.
  • TMS (tracking management system) integration allows shippers to automatically find inefficiencies in their supply chain management.
  • Digital document storage helps truckers and shippers alike ensure they have necessary paperwork within seconds while serving as a safe backup.

With more shippers wanting immediate service using an “uber-like” 3PL company, there will likely be an increased demand for truckers. This demand is great for new drivers entering the industry, as there is severe driver shortage and you may be able to demand higher rates.

However, not all of the new companies offering uber-like 3PL services are created equally, so it is important to evaluate the company before signing on.

Choosing Uber-Like Services

While Uber itself simply worries about connecting one rider with one driver and calling it a day, a logistics service needs to streamline a complicated operation. From managing warehouses, inventory, specialized equipment and intermodal shipments, this process can take weeks but is also time-sensitive.

The nature of logistics is inherently complex, which can make inexperienced attempts at simplifying the process backfire. Start-up tech companies may miss the mark by not considering all of these industry variables when creating their uber-like 3PL systems.

Established 3PLs that are adding uberization to their current logistics software stand a better chance of meeting the needs for both shippers and truckers. These experienced companies are able to expand their current Digital Freight Matching services without missing key features.